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Onkyo Launches DV-BD606 Blu-ray Player


Onkyo Launches DV-BD606 Blu-ray Player

As one of HD DVD's supporters, Onkyo was no doubt a little perturbed about having to make the switch to Blu-ray but the launch of the DV-BD606 marks it doing just that. Hopefully it can live up to the same quality we've come to expect from its home cinema kit, like the TX-NR906 AV receiver.

Unsurprisingly the DV-BD606 boasts a 1,920 x 1,080 output with a 24fps mode via an HDMI 1.3 connection. The player is 'only' Profile 1.1 compliant, making it compatible with picture in picture playback, but not with the internet-connected functionality now being added to some discs.

Audio support is as good as possible though, with Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio both taken care of. Standard definition up-scaling is also part of the feature set, along with the playback of DivX content - pretty much a standard feature for such players now.

At £399, the Dv-BD606 is hardly a cheap player, but then the best kit, such as the Panasonic BD50 and Pioneer LX71, never is.


November 24, 2008, 5:57 pm

Why are manufacturers STILL making new (fairly high end) Blu-Ray players without Profile 2.0 functionality? I know the added features may not be crucial to enjoyment of the discs, but it seems odd that they aren't adding the latest profile to new players. Not to mention the ethernet socket required for Profile 2.0 could be put to other uses, e.g. for streaming media from your PC, firmware updates without the rigmarole of burning a DVD on your PC, automatically setting the clock (hardly a big issue but handy), backing up / sharing settings etc.

Michael 7

November 24, 2008, 6:10 pm

I don't understand why anyone would buy this when a PS3 is &#16399 cheaper - there is no discernible picture quality difference and the PS3 has Profile 2.0 functionality.


November 24, 2008, 6:36 pm

@Michael - are you SURE there is no discernable picture quality difference? How are you sure? I can't comment because I haven't used one of these Onkyo decks with a properly calibrated super high end display (e.g. a Pioneer KURO KRP-600A) and compared it to a PS3. Have you? If the PS3 offers good enough Blu-Ray performance for you (and I'll freely admit that for me and my much humbler 40" Samsung LCD it is absolutely fine) then fair enough, but there will always be those who will be willing to pay more (and in the grand scheme of TVs, projectors, amplifiers etc. costing thousands, an extra &#163100 for a standalone Blu-ray player over a PS3 is negligible) for that next level of picture detail, refinement or whatever, no matter how small the difference.

Also, you're neglecting sound quality. You may not be aware that the PS3 does not offer the full set of HD audio outputs - IIRC it will not output bitstream HD audio to a compatible receiver. Not an issue for me or for most people, but for some people it may be.

Finally, some people don't want to use a console to play their movies. They don't want to have to fork out for a Bluetooth remote that then doesn't work with their all-in-one IR remote. They don't want the hassle of a separate IR-to-Bluetooth cludge. They don't want to play games. They don't want to wait for the PS3 to boot to play a movie. They don't want to be burning 200W (or whatever) just to watch a movie. They don't want the complexity of using a console to play Blu-ray discs - they just want a standalone player so they can drop a disc in the tray and away they go.

At the end of the day, the PS3 is a tremendously well built and hugely competent Blu-ray player and a decent DVD upscaler. Certainly it is a match for almost any standalone player you can buy for the same money, and is phenomenally good value for money. It is more than adequate for the vast majority of people, including me. In fact, my personal opinion is that there is no sensible alternative choice for those people. However, it is not the last word in Blu-ray players, and I am positive that, for those with golden eyes and ears, a state of the art TV and surround setup and no interest in video games, an extra couple of hundred on their Blu-ray player over a PS3 will be justified.


November 24, 2008, 7:51 pm

@John - You are probably right there is such a market - but the question is how large is it? There seems to be quite a few new blu-ray players coming out. I suspect that although the general public is quite prepared to buy flash new tvs for large flat screen appeal they can't quite see the difference between their current DVD players and new boxes that look much the same.


November 24, 2008, 8:45 pm

@timple - Probably true. There are I guess 3 main segments -

(a) those who want the cheapest BR player they can get, for some of whom even the &#163180 players now available are too expensive. I expect a lot of buy-in when players become available at the critical &#16399 price point. To be honest, you could probably sell a lot of BR players at &#16399 even if they output SD composite. Lots of people have NO IDEA what a HD image should look like (the sort of people who think that they can buy an HD Ready TV and a cheap upscaling DVD player and all of a sudden all their existing DVDs and SKY SD / Freeview will be magically transformed to "HD") and will be satisfied that they are getting HD if they have a box that says Blu-Ray on the front and a TV that says HD Ready. Medium to long term this will be by far the largest segment of the market.

(b) Super high end consumers, who will pay way more than the price of a PS3 for a fractionally better picture and sound quality. This will inevitably be the smallest segment, but by no means insignificant. It will certainly contain a lot of early adopters, and bear in mind that &#163600 for a BR player (over &#163300 for a PS3 or about &#163180 for the cheapeset BR player) is small potatoes for guys who will shell out thousands for the rest of their kit.

(c) The rest of us - savvy consumers who recognise that, at &#163300, the PS3 is a simply astonishing bargain. Excellent (if not ultimate) BR playback, good DVD upscaling, super-quiet in operation, network streaming, Profile 2.0 and, to top it all off, a damn good games console. Result.


November 25, 2008, 4:20 am

Different people - different requirements.

Whilst I agree about the PS3's merits (I own one), there's no way something that ugly and noisy is staying in my living room.

I'd prefer to have something bespoke - even a cheapo Sony S350 will do.

Why? On my Pioneer 42" Kuro, I don't think I'd see much difference between the 2.

Where I will find a difference is in the noise levels (PS3 can get quite noisy after a while) and remote control integration - the PS3 has a bluetooth remote control that is not compatible with any universal remote I've seen.


December 1, 2008, 7:07 pm

My PS3 is remarkably quiet - I can only barely hear it when the room is otherwise silent. As soon as there is even the faintest whisper of sound on a game or movie, the PS3 is unnoticeable.

There are solutions to the bluetooth remote conundrum. Google ps3toothfairy and you'll see what I mean. There are a couple of others as well.

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